April 26, 2017

New van of the year? The Fleet Awards winners

new vans

The FleetWorld Awards 2016 have been and gone for another year. Categories including best car-derived van, best new van and van manufacturer of the year announced their winners at London’s Grosvenor House.

Following on from the recent WhatVan! Awards, we take a look at the winners of this latest industry awards ceremony for commercial vans.

Which is 2016’s best new van?

Best car-derived van: Ford Fiesta Van

As a car-derived van (CDV), options are limited with the Ford Fiesta van. But that shouldn’t be an issue – chances are if you’re looking at a CDV then your requirements are small. Ford have managed to cram almost half a tonne of load-carrying ability into a loadspace of just 1 cubic metre. The best thing about the Ford Fiesta van? A fuel economy of up to 78.5mpg!

FleetWorld said: “Ford’s Fiesta van offers the best combination of driving experience, load carrying ability, good looks and practicality in its class. It proves that driving a light commercial vehicle can be enjoyable, as well as offering the load capacity and practicality that companies require.”

Best light van: Ford Transit Courier

The compact Ford Transit Courier van is small, nimble and efficient. It drives like a car while returning up to 76.3mpg fuel economy meaning that negotiating busy city centres is easy. A flexible bulkhead means that the Courier is able to carry 650kg of cargo in a loadspace of 2.4 metres.

FleetWorld said: “Bringing the Transit design and engineering philosophy to the smaller end of the market, Ford has built a robust, practical high-cube van. The Courier offers buyers a completely new choice. It fully deserves to wear the Transit badge.”

Best small van: Fiat Doblo Cargo/Vauxhall Combo

Kept together due to essentially being the same van, it is in fact the Vauxhall Combo that is based on Fiat’s Doblo Cargo. As a result, the differences aren’t substantial; the Doblo’s maximum payload is 1000kg while the Combo’s is 1028kg, top-end fuel economy figures are a claimed 64.2mpg for the Doblo and 58.9mpg for the Combo and both will take two Europallets. Ultimately, the choice is down to personal preference.

FleetWorld said: “An unrivalled combination of engine choice, payload and load volumes, with no less than four body sizes available and a dropside pick-up, will appeal to the widest possible audience.”

Best medium van: Volkswagen Transporter T6

Volkswagen’s Transporter is one of the few LCVs on the market to offer Euro 6 compliant engines ahead of the new legislation coming into force in September 2016. The T6 Transporter offers load volumes ranging from 5.8 to 9.3 cubic metres as well as payloads up to 1331kg.

FleetWorld said: “With two wheelbases, three roof heights, and a range of smooth and economical 2.0-litre engines, with manual and DSG automated transmissions and two- and four-wheel drive all on offer, the Transporter goes straight to the top of the class.”

Best large van: Mercedes Sprinter

Mercedes’ large Sprinter van is one of the best vans on the market. A choice of nine body styles, lengths and heights mean that there is a Sprinter for every requirement. Top-end economy figures sit at 35.3mpg (combined), which is competitive in the large vans sector.

FleetWorld said: “Large vans form the backbone of fleets across the UK. Sprinter remains as popular with the fleet manager and the finance director, as it does with drivers. Whether moving people or goods, it is our number one van choice.”

Best pick-up: Nissan Navara NP300

A second award of the year for the Nissan Navara pick-up after winning International Pickup of the Year for 2016, its excellent range of new features like Around View Monitor and Forward Emergency Braking have set a new benchmark in the pick-up sector. Nissan wanted to create a ‘4×4/SUV’ crossover, and it’s fair to say they’ve not done too badly.

FleetWorld said: “Always a strong contender in the pick-up market, the latest Navara rips up the rule book and takes a giant leap forwards, boasting new engines, suspension and technology. It really has thrown down the gauntlet to other manufacturers.”

Best new van: Volkswagen Transporter T6

Introduced in 2015, the T6 Transporter has built on the success of its predecessor to remain at the forefront of the market.

FleetWorld said: “T6 Transporter had this sewn up from the moment we first turned the key in the ignition. As an ownership proposition, it goes straight to the top of the class. Of all the vans we tried last year, this delivered a winning drive.”

Van manufacturer of the year: Ford

It seems that every best-seller list has Ford vans at the top. This isn’t simply due to their longevity – Ford have continuously delivered the industry’s best and safest vans for over 50 years. Their Transit range has grown to cover three sectors as their popularity shows no sign of wavering.

FleetWorld said: “Having overhauled its entire range recently, Ford has one of the strongest offerings, at any size, in the LCV market. It was among the top players in every award class, and offers dedicated Transit Centres around the country to better support customers.”

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